Did this year suck for you? It did for me. It was a difficult year as I lost my father, my health suffered, and the business had some terrible lows – including parting with a great friend and colleague. You folks read my blog for marketing information so I don't want to focus on other issues (although they had a huge impact), I want to speak directly to Marketing and Marketing Technology.
Marketing in 2013 sucked
We spent the entire year getting folks back on track with proven, successful, multi-channel strategies. The shiny objects this year were everywhere. Our clients shifted funds and invested in many technologies this year that promised a lot and delivered crap. It moved focus off of things that we knew would work long-term and with momentum. It threw good money and resources at schemes that didn't produce anything. It stole clients from us and when they came back, they lacked the funds to continue what was working.
Distractions, Lies and Pressure
Something changed with me this year as I spoke to clients. I started looking like the curmudgeon in the room rather than the idea guy. As much as we were pushing some great new opportunities, I felt like I had to attack and keep many more at bay. We fought as our clients ignored mobile trends, video trends, and continued content success.
The pressure internal to these companies was terrible… leadership demanded faster results, cut budgets, and reduced personnel counts. Companies were forced to make bad decision after bad decision and the vulture companies that preyed on them were more than happy to sign them, take their money, and leave them with nothing. It cost many of my friends in the industry to leave or get fired. I think half of my LinkedIn connections have a new title at a new company.
A Return to the Foundations
This year is the year of focus. Our business has returned to its core focus of ensuring our clients have an excellent inbound marketing foundation followed by a solid content, social and search strategy that builds authority and awareness of their brands. We'll continue to help our clients integrate and automate technology, but keep them from getting distracted. We're going to be open about what works and what doesn't this year.
I don't like predictions so I'm not going to make them. Here's our focus in 2014 and the focus we're pushing with our clients:
- Ensuring they're online marketing has a sturdy foundation that's optimized for search and social – building authority for brands and the people behind them.
- Inbound marketing implementations that measure and lead visitors through the sales and conversion channel.
- Retaining and building value with prospects, leads, and visitors through great email marketing and marketing automation processes.
- Capitalizing on mobile growth and adoption – including text messaging, mobile web, mobile email and mobile applications.
- Portioning budgets for graphics, professional video, webinars, and other engaging mediums that help explain complex benefits faster and improve conversion cycles and rates.
- Seeking promotional opportunities that drive awareness and get our products, services, people and brands in front of new audiences that are relevant.
I'm ready for 2013 to get behind me and get 2014 underway! Are you?